Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blind Man kicked off US Airways Plane.

See article here

Basically I have to side (based on the existing story) with the passengers and not with the airline. it Sounds like the stewardess was very unprofessional and treated this PWD as if he was less than human. I applaud the gentleman as I probably would not have been so calm about the matter. However the passengers really get kudos it takes a lot of guts to stand up for someone you don't know - especially in that sort of situation where you are risking being able to get to your destination.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Veteran kicked out of a restaurant on Veterans Day for his service animal

Read the article here.

I am unsure which side to believe here. If the veterans story is accurate than the veteran is right to feel like his rights were violated. If the restaurants story is accurate, than the veteran has no reason to have made such a big deal out of this. Having not been there, it is impossible for me to know which story is accurate. However, I lean back to something I said earlier about police. If an officer had been asked to respond and had responded to this situation, there would be a third party who would have written a report and also probably been available to explain existing law to the owner. The police could have (by responding) kept what appears to be heading for a lawsuit from becoming so serious, or at least documented what occurred while they were there making the lawsuit easier to address.

Finally an answer from SCIL

When this issue originally occurred, I was concerned that Disability Rights organizations were not telling the disabled about the laws with respect to service animals in Missouri. That concern still exists, and this response to me seems to show a desire not to inform the disabled about our rights under the law. A law that has been in effect for a number of years is apparently being ignored by the community and the state as a whole.

I asked SCIL when I received the letter from the Police Chief to inform inform the community about the law, and they said they had to talk to an attorney. I finally got a response to my request that the Southwest Center for Independent Living notify the community of this law, and that response did not answer the question. I asked them to include this in their training and materials, and they basically did not respond to that question at all. The response that I did get is below.

I will be replying to this once again requesting that SCIL tell the disabled community about this law as this is another way the disabled can enforce our rights. I hope SCIL will take adding these materials to their training, as not doing so leaves people who may wish to use this unable to do so, and show a lack of desire to advocate fully for the disabled community.

I feel this law and utilizing it when people are denied access is very important for two basic reasons:

1. Documenting the issue. If the police can take a report or respond to this via phone, while the chief is telling me that he has "more than enough" officers to respond to these calls, they completely do away with this "proof." An officer response can be used to show the issue did occur and can address one of the first issues I have been told exist when someone makes a DOJ or Council on Human Rights complaint, which is "Were you actually there? Did this issue actually occur?" An incident where an officer responds allows the officer to possibly stop the issue from turning into a complaint (possibly keeping cases out of the courts and freeing up court time for more serious issues), and also allows for the officer to document the situation at the time of occurrence.

2. It is the law, and it can be used to give denying access a little bit of teeth. In English this means that after enough complaints the prosecutor will probably prosecute a violation and that will result in businesses taking a more proactive approach to ensuring they are not violating equal access. This will lower the number of incidents of denying equal access, making our community more inclusive.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Slowdown will have an affect on veterans

Washington Post Article

It worries me that what some of our Representatives and Senators are considering over a plan to address healthcare will have numerous unintended consequences. They should realize when they shut down the government they are actually hurting both the military and the VA. These are the two areas of people trained in our country to use the weapons of war that we have. If I was considering shutting down the government I would ensure the VA and military check and claims did not get slowed. The people waiting for these claims are already desperate (some are homeless and some are living on very meager help), and slowing these claims will result in one thing greater than any other: making the desperate more desperate.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Disney Policy Change

I applaud Disney for attempting to address a problem without violating the rights of the disabled. To me this shows a deeper issue, and a need for there to be an accepted way for the truly disabled to be identified and those who are not but claim to be to be rooted out. I cannot post a link from my phone but will post it as soon as I can.

Disney Disabled Policy Changes on CNN

City Council September 23 2013

So I spoke to city council and I was told they would "look into it." To me this is a positive step but it may be a political statement. I was more encouraged when a council member asked me to write a proposal of what I would like them to do and give it to the clerk to distribute to the entire council. I got nervous and as a result I did not say everything in the ways I meant to say them.

I did tell them the commission on human rights has not returned my calls or emails and that the chief agrees this was a criminal matter. To me those points are major and can help the members of our community better address these issues if they occur, it gives us another venue to address these issues that has results significantly quicker.

I was happy those who came did so, but I was unhappy that more people did not come, especially since there were almost 30 people who said they would come.

I have to say this meeting opened my eyes to a greater divide between our leaders and the disabled in our community.